How to: Linux turn on Num Lock on GNOME startup

Q. How do I make sure that numlock is always turn on GNOME Linux desktop system?

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A. You need to install numlockx package, which enable NumLock in X11 sessions.

This little software allows you to start X with NumLock turned on which is a feature that a lot of people seem to miss and nobody really knew how to achieve this.

To install numlockx type the command:
# apt-get install numlockx

Now open your /etc/X11/gdm/Init/Default file and add line:
/usr/bin/numlockx on

Save and close the file.

You can also add line to /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc. Open file:
# vi /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc

At the beginning of file add line
/usr/bin/numlockx on

Save and close the file.

If you’re not root (or don’t have access to root account) and therefore you can modify neither config file, you can use your ~/.xinitrc ( in your home directory /home/you/.xinitrc file).
$ cd
$ vi .xinitrc

Append following line
/usr/bin/numlockx on

Save and close the file.

Reboot the system or restart the GNOME.

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1 comment… add one
  • ntrrgc May 14, 2013 @ 9:39

    On nowadays’ distros xinitrc file has been deprecated in favor of xinitrc.d script directory, which provides better maintainability for packagers.

    So, instead of editing

    /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc

    it’s better to create a script like this:

    vi /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/numlockx

    Then paste this code (don’t forget shebang line):

    #!/bin/bash
    /usr/bin/numlockx on

    And lastly, give that file execute permissions.

    chmod +x /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/numlockx

    Reboot to test it, and done.

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